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Hold that Heimlich



Hold that Heimlich

Mike Huckabee got worldwide press coverage when he applied the Heimlich maneuver to a North Carolina political candidate who began choking during a dinner recently. Huckabee's action was credited with saving Robert Pittenger's life. Huckabee said it was the third time he'd used the maneuver. One press account said: “I knew that the worst thing you can do is pat someone on the back if they're choking,” Huckabee said, noting that he had taken emergency medical training when he was younger.

Well, guess what? Times have changed.

Tipped by someone well-versed on first aid, The Insider learned that, in 2006, the American Red Cross reinstated back blows as the first treatment response for choking and it officially eliminated reference to the “Heimlich maneuver,” referring to it instead as an “abdominal thrust.” The American Heart Association also now recommends alternating back blows and abdominal thrusts, but says it's uncertain which should be used first.

This change has largely gone unnoted in the press. But here's a release on first aid from the Red Cross, which happens to be the employer of Janet Huckabee, the ex-governor's wife.

“To help someone who is choking, remember “FIVE-and-FIVE Can Keep Them Alive.” First, ask the person if they are able to breathe and if you can help. Once you know the person is unable to cough, speak or breathe, have someone call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number, lean the person forward and give FIVE sharp back blows with the heel of your hand. If the obstruction isn't dislodged, give the person FIVE quick, upward abdominal thrusts. If you are alone, you can perform abdominal thrusts on yourself, just as you would on someone else. Thrusts can also be administered by pressing your abdomen firmly against an object such as the back of a chair.”


New duties

Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen, defeated for re-election this year, has lined up post-judicial employment. He'll join the faculty of the UALR Bowen School of Law as a visiting professor in spring 2009, teaching a pre-trial course in criminal procedure and leading a seminar on Cultural Competency, Inclusion and Law. He said: “The seminar will examine how cultural competency — and the absence of it — operates in the context of legal controversies, court decisions, and societal outcomes.”

He also has formed a consulting firm, Griffen Strategic Consulting, which will assist business, government, education and religious organizations.  His term on the court runs through the end of this year.


Judicial opening?

Circuit Judge Marion Humphrey is eligible for retirement next January — and he might take advantage of that eligibility. While Humphrey said he hasn't made decisions yet, he has given serious consideration to hanging 'em up before his term expires in 2010. “I'm keeping my options open,” he added.


Fit cons

Take heart. While the average American is getting fatter and fatter almost by the year, a new study of Arkansas's prison population has found that the average criminal is fitter than ever. Published last month in The Social Science Journal, the study looked at the Body Mass Index — the ratio of weight to height — of 5,000 Arkansas inmates at the time they entered the state prison system. Researchers found that those whose BMI falls into what is considered the fit or healthy range make up an staggering percentage of new convicts headed for the Big House: between 62 and 73 percent. By contrast, according to the CDC, only 33.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 to 74 would be classified as having a healthy weight by their BMI.  

Dr. Jeffery T. Walker of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, one of the authors of the study, said that there may be some correlation between being physically fit and having a violent personality. “In essence, what drives them to be fit also drives them to be violent,” Walker told the New York Times. “It is also likely that those who are fit find themselves in violent situations more.”



U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor appears in the trailer for Bill Maher's coming film on God and religion, “Religulous.” After Maher poses a question about electing politicians who believe in a talking snake (a Biblical reference in case you didn't know), Pryor comes on the screen and comments, “You don't have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate.”




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